Three people were killed early Wednesday when a tractor trailer rolled on Interstate 75 near Cartersville, Fox 5 News reports.
According to authorities, the driver of the tractor trailer drifted onto the left shoulder of the highway and hit a guardrail, killing two people in the truck. A second tractor trailer driven by 58-year-old Hugh Duling III then crashed into the wreckage. Duling was killed in the accident.
About 1:50 a.m., the driver of the first tractor trailer drove onto the left shoulder, hit a guardrail, and then crashed into a concrete pillar on the southbound side of the highway. The tractor trailer rolled onto its side and caught fire.
The collision caused an overhead sign to fall into the road. Duling then crashed into the sign in his truck, causing him to lose control and drive off the highway.
Authorities aren't sure what caused the driver of the first truck to drift onto the shoulder of the highway. Depending on the circumstances behind the wreck, Duling's family may have a viable negligence claim against the driver's estate.
A wrongful death suit would potentially allow Duling's family to win damages for its medical expenses, funeral costs, and the loss of consortium. In general, wrongful death suits are brought by the family of a person who was killed due to the negligence of another.
For example, if the driver of the first tractor trailer had nodded off or hadn't been paying attention at the time, Duling's family could argue that the driver's negligence was the proximate cause of the crash. They would probably say that the driver had a duty to drive safely, stay alert, and observe the rules of the road, and by drifting off the road he breached that duty and caused Duling's death.
All lanes were closed on I-75 for several hours. The northbound lanes have since reopened.
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